Quick Recipes With Popped Amaranth Seeds

Amaranth, the royal grain, is known as Raamdana/ Ramdana, Rajgira in India. Actually it is not a grain but seeds of the Amaranth plant. These tiny seeds  pop up  when roasted to become light and fluffy and provide more protein content than the much touted quinoa. A whooping  9 gm of complete protein in one cup. Amaranth contains all the essential amino acids which makes it much better than any seed/grain.

This tiny yet power packed seed is a store house of many essential nutrients. It has a significant amount of calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and Vitamin C. Another good thing is that it is gluten free so people who are celiac or gluten intolerant can easly incorporate it in their meals.

I have very fond memories of munching on raamdana ladoos as a child. Light and mildly sweetened with jaggery they are the best snacks to have at all ages as they are easy to digest too. We even used these popped seeds in porridge, both sweet and savory. Raamdana is very versatile and you just need to be innovative to include it daily in your diet one way or the other. You can use them in cutlets, frappes, ladoos, soups, muffins, breads, cakes, quiche, energy bars or use it as a breakfast cereal or baby food or sprinkle over salads etc. .

Here I made some quick sweets and a frappe using Organic popped amaranth seeds from I Say Organics. 

Dates, Mix Dry Fruit and Popped Amarath Ladoos 

This is a fantastic easy and quick recipes which can be made with or without cooking if you already have the amaranth seeds popped.

You can make bite size balls to eat as snacks. The size depends on your wish. I make them small so I can eat it often. There is no oil/ghee or added sugar so that makes these a wonderful snack.

To make these nutritious ladoos you will need :

Dates –  1 cup pitted (good quality)

Popped Amaranth / Rajgira Seeds – 1 Cup

Chopped or Powdered Mix dry fruits ( Almonds, raisins, cashews. walnuts etc. ) – 1/2 cup

Any seeds ( flax seeds sesame seeds) if you desire – 2 tablespoon

( If you have the  wet dates then no cooking is required but if the dates are dry then they need to be heated a bit. )

Method – 

Pit and chop the dates fine.

Dry roast the nuts and chop or powder them as per your taste. If using seeds then dry roast them too but take care not to over roast. Just light roasting is fine.

If  you are using dry dates then heat a non stick pan and add chopped dates to it.

Keep the flame low and stir till the dates soften.

Add the nut mixture,  seed mixture and popped ramdana, give it a nice sir and switch off the gas.

Remove the mixture in a plate and mix it thoroughly so that everything gets incorporated nicely.

Make small balls of the mixture and let them cool before putting them in an airtight container. Eat these  nutritious power packed ladoos any time of the day. I am sure kids wuld love them too. Do give it a try.

If yo uare using the soft, wet dates then just chop them and put the dates and powder/chopped dry fruit mixture in a blender and mix till a gooey mix is obtained. Take it out in a bowl and make small bite size balls from it.

Ramdana/ Popped Amaranth Brittle/ Chikki 

Our next recipe is for the brittle made of raamdana.  I have used Organic jaggery and popped amaranth seeds from I Say Organics in this recipe to get the maximum benefits from the ingredients.


Popped Amaranth Seeds / Rajgira / Ramdana – 1/2 Cup

Organic Jaggery – 1/2 Cup ( you can use Palm Jaggery too. Crumble it or cut into slivers with a sharp knife.)

Ghee/ coconut oil – 1 tbsp ( coconut oil for vegans)

Pinch of salt

Method – 

Grease a baking tray/ plate with oil and set it aside.

Put a heavy bottom pan on medium heat and add the oil or ghee to it.

Add the grated or crumbled Jaggery with a pinch of salt. I don’t use shakkar or granulated jaggery.

Stir it constantly till the jaggery melts and there are no lumps. Keep the heat low if required so the jaggery doesn’t burn. It will become more like a syrup.

Add ramdana / amaranth seeds and mix well.

Pour the mixture in the greased tin and

spread it evenly with a spatula.

Let it set for 20-30 min then remove it from the baking tray and either break into pieces or cut into squares.

Keep in an airtight container.

Note- Some people make a syrup or Paak of jaggery with water. I prefer it this way. To make it crisp you’ll need to melt the jaggery a little longer without burning. I just wait till it dissolves completely and add amaranth.  This chikki/brittle is a bit softer than the market version.

Popped Amaranth seeds Parfait with Mixed Fruit And Nuts 

I love yogurt Parfaits and this is one of my favorites. You can do so much with this basic recipe. Add any fruits, nuts, seeds to it with natural sweetness of fruits and perhaps some home made preserve or organic honey  or organic jaggery slivers/ granules if you like it sweeter. Dates/ Prunes make this frappe very delicious and naturally sweet too.

Ingredients –

Chopped Prunes or Dates

Popped Amaranth seeds

Chopped mix nuts (walnut, cashew, almonds etc and  mixed raisins ( black, gloden)

Hung yogurt

Homemade preserve/ honey/ maple or date syrup/ molasses or jaggery


Just layer these ingredients one by one to make the parfait presentable or if in a rush just toss everything together  and have it. Both ways you’re getting the goodness of this power packed recipe. Top the frappe with the Preserve or any of the other sweetening ingredient mentioned above. It is entirety up to you what to add/remove.

Make it as healthy and innovative as you desire.

Hope you liked these recipes. Do try and let me know in the comment section about your experience.

Stretch Your Body : Fitness Tips

Stretching is one of the keys to a balanced fitness regime. Regular stretching exercises helps in maintaining a flexible and supple body.

The benefits of flexibility include prevention of injuries and increased range of movements during the fitness regime, easier and less tiring daily activities because as we know supple muscles use less energy, increased blood flow to the muscles, improved performance, agile body, release of tension, and improved coördination. Stretching can help realign the body and keep up good posture which otherwise can cause repetitive stain in the back and legs.

Here’s a basic guide to a stretching routine that will help you stay fit every day. Remember to stretch only as far as is comfortable. If you experience pain with any technique, drop it until you discuss it with your instructor or doctor.

Always warm up and then gently, patiently stretch your muscles. A good walk is perfect before doing your stretching routine. Do not stiffen your limbs, the moment you feel uncomfortable in holding a position, remember it is time to stop.

1. Shoulder Shrugs

Sit straight, keep your shoulders relaxed. Inhale and squeeze your shoulders up toward your ears. Hold them tight till the count of ten and relax as you exhale. Repeat ten times to start.

Roll Your Shoulder

Rotate your shoulders forwards and then reverse direction. Do five rotations each side.

Neck Stretch (Do not attempt if you suffer from Cervical Spondylosis)

Sit straight, exhale and let your neck drop forward. Relax for about 2 seconds, now inhale as you lift your head, exhale and let your head drop to one side, relax, and inhale as you return to center. Repeat to the other side. Do the whole sequence 5 to 10 times.

Stretch Your Spine

Sit straight with your hands clasped behind your head, exhale and turn slowly to the right. Look behind you, twisting as far as comfortable without straining the neck. Hold for the count of five, and inhale as you return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. Do this stretching exercise 10-20 times, 3 times a day.

Back Stretch

Lie on your back with your knees bent; keep your feet flat on the floor. Keep both shoulders completely relaxed and flat against the floor. Slowly let your knees drop to one side only as far as they will go comfortably. Relax there to the count of five and then bring them up again. Repeat on the other side. Do this up to five times on each side.
Use a hand or pillow to support the back of your head if your neck is uncomfortable against the floor.

Hip Extension

Holding onto a table or back of a chair, grasp your foot or ankle. Let your knee dangle straight down. Move your thigh backward, then return, repeating on both sides up to 20 times.

Hip Flexes

Sit in a chair and hold the seat with your hands, lift one leg as if you were taking a step. Keep the back straight and do not lean forward as you lift the leg. Keep your abdomen pulled in for support. Repeat 10 times then do  sequence with your other leg. This simple stretch will build hip strength as well as flexibility.

(You can do this by sitting on the floor also with legs straight in the front. Take support of the floor with hands flat on the floor)

Hamstrings Stretch

Stand upright; keep your leg straight and your foot resting on a low stool in front of you. Exhale, and slowly lean into your straight leg until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold for 10-30 seconds and return to start. Repeat on both sides, at least 10 times.

Calf Stretch

Stand facing a wall with your toes almost touching it. Lean forward into your hands placed at shoulder height against the wall. Move one leg back only as far as it stays flat on the floor. You should feel a comfortable stretch in your calf muscle when you lean into the stretch. Your toes should point forward. Repeat on both sides, holding for 10-30 seconds.

Abdominal stretch

Kneel on floor or mat with hips straight. Place hands on the back of hips keeping your palms against your lower back and your fingers pointing down towards the floor. Lean your torso back by arching back. Hold the stretch for a few minutes. Repeat 5 times.

Pelvic stretching exercises that you can practice to reduce  intensity of menstrual pain.

1. Lie straight on your back and slowly bend your knees and clasp them. Now, slowly without raising your head and chest, try to bring the knees up to your chest. Hold it in this position for a few seconds and then slowly go back to the original position. You can try it with one leg alternatively also.

2. Lie flat on your back and slowly raise both legs up into the air, perpendicular to the floor and hold this position for few seconds. Be careful, while going back to the original position. Go very slowly and if it is not comfortable, first bend your legs and then lower them slowly.

So stretch out, ease that tension, tone up and stay fit for life.

Nuts About Nuts

Health Benefits of Nuts

Nuts can be addictive but if they are eaten in moderation, their health benefits are immense. They are great source of proteins, vitamins and healthy oils especially vitamin E oil. Eating nuts ensures a healthy cardio- vascular system. It is always a good option to munch on nuts and not to go for unhealthy snacks between meals. Every nut is shapes like the organ it helps most, such as walnuts are shaped like the human brain and the cashew nuts like the kidneys. Therefore, you will know which nut is good for which body part.

The top four nuts that I recommend are Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts and Cashew Nuts but one can always choose from a great variety of other healthy nuts available in the market.

1. Almonds

Key Ingredients:

Almonds are a rich source of magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, folic acid, calcium, vitamin E (an anti-oxidant) and selenium. Almonds are also high in fiber. They contain high levels of healthy monounsaturated fats.


Almonds help in preventing diseases such as gall stones, type 1 diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, impotency, respiratory diseases. They help cut cholesterol and aid weight loss. They help to fight against the health damaging free radicals and increase the oxygen-based energy production.

The flavonoids in the skin of the almonds together with the vitamin E, which is in the flesh of the nut, make them an extremely powerful antioxidant. They are also anti cancer agents.

Almonds are rightly called the king of nuts for their excellent health benefits. Have 8-10 almonds a day to keep your skin glowing and body in good health.

2. Walnuts

Key Ingredients:

Walnuts are excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as vitamin E. they are rich in proteins.


Walnuts are a fantastic brain food and nourish the brain. They help lower cholesterol and in that way help heart too. They help in strengthening the bones due to  presence of Omega 3 fat in them and improve the functions of the intestines.

They also help in lowering the risk of gall stone formation. They contain a hormone called Melatonin, which is produced by the pineal gland, in bio-available form. It helps in inducing and regulating sleep and is a powerful antioxidant.

Walnuts also contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid, which blocks the metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer.

Therefore, walnuts have a wellness formula in a nutshell.

3. Peanuts

Key Ingredients:

Peanuts are a good source of vitamin E, A, B and C, fiber, folic acid, thiamine, niacin, copper, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, and zinc. They are a very good source of monounsaturated fats.


Peanuts are the powerhouse of nutrients and a very healthy snack. Peanuts are also a good source of resveratrol. Generally associated with red wine, resveratrol  is believed to slow or prevent  formation of arterial plaque and are good for heart. Peanuts can act as an appetite suppressant.

A quick snack of peanuts can satisfy hunger for up to two and a half hours. They are rich source of anti oxidants and protect our body from cancer causing free radicals. They help fight the type 2 diabetes. They also increase the immunity levels if taken daily in moderation. They are also extraordinarily high in polyphenols and proteins.

Eat them roasted or make a delicious peanut butter from them.

4. Cashew Nuts

Key Ingredients and benefits:

Cashew nuts are significant sources of iron which is essential for red blood cell function and enzyme activity, magnesium  which promotes energy release and bone growth, phosphorus that helps build bones and teeth, zinc that is essential for digestion and metabolism and selenium which has important antioxidant properties, thus protecting the body from cancer.

They are also great source of protein. They have low-fat content and are cholesterol free. They are rich in iron, potassium, magnesium  and vitamin A. They are good body builders and energizers. Cashews contain healthy monounsaturated fat that promotes good cardiovascular health.

Magnesium works with calcium to support healthy muscles and bones in the body. It also helps promote normal sleep patterns in menopausal women. High copper content in cashew nuts is vital in energy production, greater flexibility in blood vessels, bones and joints.

They are rich in dietary fibers also and can help weight management.

Nuts should be eaten in moderation. Replace the unhealthy snacks with fistful of healthy mixed nuts and reap their benefits.

Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are integral parts of Indian cooking and hold medicinal properties apart from being taste enhancers. Here are some ways to use them in cooking.

For centuries, Herbs and spices have been acknowledged for their medicinal properties and as culinary enhancers. There are hundreds of herbs which play an important role in our cuisine and as medicines and it is important to know when and how to use them.

Some work best with certain kind of foods and some go well with other specific herbs. Some are very effective cure for various ailments and are beneficial as many of our daily remedies. In AYURVEDA, we have used many of the Indian herbs like Ashvagandha, Boswellia or guggal, Alfalfa, Aloevera and many others to maximum benefits in combination with essential oils, in our cuisine, and as medicines.

Here we will try to see the various combinations of herbs and foods that match perfectly and discuss two of my favorite herbs and their usefulness for our body.

Curry Leaves

Indian cuisine uses the fragrant herbs in abundance. Curry leaf is an essential ingredient of most dishes cooked in South and in other parts of India. Mainly used for flavorings fresh green curry leaf when rubbed between fingers give out a unique aroma. They are slightly bitter in taste. Usually the fresh curry leaves are best for cooking
but dried up leaves can also be used.

The leaves contain a volatile essential oil in a crystalline principle glycoside having anticancer properties. They contain minerals, vitamin A&B and are a rich source of Carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids. Raw leaves cure dysentery and decoction of leaves with bitters cures fever.

The leaves contain a volatile essential oil in a crystalline principle glycoside having anticancer properties. They contain minerals, vitamin A&B and are a rich source of Carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids. Raw leaves cure dysentery and decoction of leaves with bitters cures fever.

It is an excellent hair tonic and prevents premature graying of hair especially when boiled with coconut oil for the greatest benefit in hair treatment. Eating tender curry leaves helps prevent diabetes. The leaves also have weight reducing properties.


Basil is a wonderful addition to many of our favorite Italian dishes, but it is also an excellent choice as an insect repellent, and for the treatment of bad breath, warts, headaches, and high blood pressure.

Rubbing basil leaves directly on the skin wards off mosquitoes. In India, this is quite common practice. If you do not have the luxury of planting it outside, this plant grows quite nicely in a sunny window planter.

Six compounds found in basil are useful as expectorant and make basil beneficial in ridding the body of mucus and congestion. Basil and black pepper each contain six compounds, which lower the blood pressure.

Basil carries many antiviral compounds.

Herb and Food combinations

Some herbs go very well with specific foods

1. Basil goes best with tomato sauce, tomato soup, tomato juice, potato dishes, prawns, meat, chicken and poultry, pasta, rice, egg dishes.

2. Bay leaves make a difference to soups, stews, casseroles, meat and poultry marinades stocks.

3. Chili work best with meat, chicken and poultry, prawns, shellfish, tomato dishes, curries.

4. Chives improve the salads, chicken, soups, cheese dishes, egg dishes, mayonnaise, and vinaigrettes.

5. Coriander enhances all Asian dishes, stir-fries, curries, soups, salads, seafood.

6. Dill is for salads, sauces, and fish, and salad, sour cream, cheese and potato dishes.

7. Fennel can go with stuffing, sauces, seafood.

8. Garlic adds the zest to soups, sauces, pasta, meat, chicken, shellfish, pesto, salad dressings, and bread.

9. Ginger is best with cakes, biscuits, all Asian dishes.

10. Lemongrass can be added to some of the Asian dishes, stir-fries, curries, seafood, soups, and tea.

11. Mint works wonder with drinks, confectionary, meat, chicken, yoghurt, desserts, sauces, vegetable dishes.

12. Oregano is best with cheese dishes, egg dishes, tomato sauce, pizza, meat, stuffing, bread, pasta.

13. Parsley adds the power to egg dishes, pasta, rice dishes, salads, butter, sauces, seafood, vegetable dishes.

14. Sage is for stuffing, tomato dishes, and cheese dishes.

15. Thyme is wonder herb for breads, chicken and poultry, soups, stock, stews, butter, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar.

Herb combinations

Some herbs compliment each other beautifully here is the list of some of my favorites

1. Basil with chives, chili, garlic, oregano

2. Bay leaves with parsley, thyme, garlic, oregano

3. Chili with coriander, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, mint, oregano

4. Chives with basil, garlic

5. Dill with chives, garlic, parsley

6. Garlic with basil, rosemary, sage, fennel, chili, coriander

7. Thyme with bay leaves, parsley, garlic, rosemary

8. Oregano with basil, parsley, chives, thyme, bay, and chili

Food, herb combo information is courtesy Healthy Cooking with Fresh Herbs

The Healer : Pranic Healing or Energy Healing

This is the second post of the series The Light , The Healer and The Muse

This post is about a very special woman who helped me heal in one of the worst time of my life. She is not just my healer but also a friend and my akka ( sister).
When I speak of heart light reaching out and souls connecting with each other I also mean that some people just get directed towards you by some common factor and a special relationship is built on mutual love, trust and respect.

I came to know about Padmini akka as I call her, through her mother. It is now almost three years since I have a beautiful bonding with her and her Energy Healing has made tremendous quality changes in my daily life.

I was on the verge of collapse due to some health problem and was extremely depressed due to it all. Nothing seemed to take away my hidden fears and life came to a complete stand still. I knew all those who loved me were trying patiently to cope with my outbursts and continuous aches, pains and emotional problems. It was a trying experience for everyone.

Then one day I was given her phone number by her mother who was visiting us from Chennai and without even knowing me personally Dr. Padmini started my distant energy healing along with my medication.

I have yet to see someone with such patience and love that she has for everyone who connects to her. As she listened to all my problems she began her healing for me. She also suggested some changes in life style, gave me the names of books I could read and incorporate the suggestions from them in my daily life and as we spoke I felt lighter. Something drained out of my body (which I later came to know as energy blocks).

She advised me to learn Pranic Healing and go for a session in my city but continued to heal me on regular basis. We would talk on phone for long hours and it changed my thinking, my way of living and slowly my depression also evaporated. The entire being was filled with positiveness and good health in no time.

I trusted her completely and knew that her efforts from such a long distance will eventually cure me. I began to feel better and better and slowly the meditation, yoga, healing and complete involvement with what I LOVED TO DO became my priority in life.

Today most of the credit to my work, my sanity and good health goes to her.

Pranic Healing opened a new door for me and practically gave a new life. There are no words to thank Akka for bringing the change in every aspect of me.

I am not writing this post just as a praise for her but also as a testimonial of a patient who got completely cured. I want that all those looking out for health solutions of any kind should contact her and experience what I did.

Many a times I call her for some ailment which bothers me like my Cervical Spondylosis or sluggish GI anything that I am not able to tackle on my own or with medicine and she immediately sends Healing and removes the energy blocks giving me instant relief.

I have learned and benefited from her Energy Healing and it has made my system stronger.

There is a kind of relaxed feeling that wraps me when the healing is being done. I t feels as if all the negativity from the affected area is flowing out of my body and the relief is immediate.

I would like to share one such healing incident with you all. Many a times our pains are generated psychologically and they manifest themselves as physical pains.. acute physical pains. We are unable to find any reason for them and need to be rid of them as soon as possible.

Similar thing happened to me during my trip to Corbett National Park. It was late evening and in the middle of jungle I had severe abdominal pain. I was restless and the rest of the group worried. It irritated me and there was no medication available. I tried against all odds to call Dr. Padmini and she like an angel picked up the phone and listened to me very patiently. It was late and am sure she must be having dinner or had guests at home coz I could hear voices but still she gave me Pranic healing and told me to take a pain killer and relax my tensed nerves.

The healing does not substitute medication ..

I did exactly what she told me and within minutes I was well. The pain just vanished and I was able to eat my dinner too.

As advised I continued the pain killer for one more day and we were able to stay on for two more days, when at that moment our bags were packed for leaving.

So you can see how effectively this complementary therapy of healing works.

I am not writing about the techniques used in Healing as such, one can find it all on Google or write to Dr. Padmini directly to know all about it.
The idea of writing this post is to make people across the globe aware of the benefits of energy healing and have a healthy society at all levels.

Dr. Padmini sharma is a practitioner of Pranic Healing or energy healing – a complementary therapy, using prana or energy to heal the body and mind. She uses Pranic Healing to complement medical interventions in all kind of health challenges and also in improving quality of life. She conducts workshops and training programs in Pranic Healing meditation and stress management.

Here is a link to her LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn Padmini Sharma

you can also contact her on the given email ID

Dr. padmini sharma

Pranic Healing Does Not take the place of medical attention and acts ONLY as supplement / complement to what ever mainstream methods that are currently available.

Please feel free to contact her for any guidance. Discover good health.you can leave comments which I will forward to her but direct communication is better. Do pass the blog link to all friends if you believe in Energy Healing and get benefited.

On The Subject Of Anger

I sometimes get motivational articles from friends who have been trying to understand various aspects of life through various techniques like Vipasana and Pranic Breathing etc.

This is one such article which I would love to share with all my friends. This was sent to me by a friend Gautam. He himself practices Vipasana and takes sessions also.

Hope it will benefit all of you.

On the Subject of Anger

What happens when someone is angry? The law of nature is such that one who generates anger is its first victim. One is bound to become miserable as one generates anger even though most of the time people do not realize that they are harming themselves by generating anger. Even if someone realizes this, the truth is that one is unable to keep oneself away from anger; to keep oneself free from anger. Now let us see why one becomes angry.

It is quite obvious that anger arises when something undesirable has happened, when someone has created an obstacle in the fulfillment of your desires, when someone has insulted you or when someone has expressed derogatory remarks about you while backbiting. All such reasons make one flare up in anger and are the apparent reasons for one to become angry. Now is it possible that someone can attain so much power that no one should say or do anything against him? This is certainly impossible. Even to the most powerful person in the world, undesirable things keep on happening and he or she is helpless to prevent it.

Even if we can stop one person from insulting us or saying something against us there is no guarantee that another person will not start doing the same thing. While we cannot change the whole world according to our wishes, we can certainly change ourselves to get rid of the misery that one suffers because of generating anger. For this one has to seek a deeper reason for the anger within oneself rather than outside.

Let us understand within ourselves the real reason for generating anger. For example, let us understand from the standpoint of Vipasana the real reason which causes us to experience anger within ourselves. If you learn the art of observing the reality within yourself it will become so clear at the experiential level that the real reason for anger lies within and not outside.

As soon as one comes across some undesirable thing outside there is a sensation in the body. And because the object was undesirable the sensation is very unpleasant. It is only after feeling this unpleasant sensation that one reacts with anger. If one learns how to observe bodily sensations equanimously without reacting to them one starts coming out of the old habit of flaring up in anger and harming oneself. The practice of Vipasana helps one to develop the faculty of observing all the different kinds of sensations which one experiences on different parts of the body from time to time and remain equinamous by not reacting to them. The old habit had been that when you feel pleasant sensations you react with craving and clinging and when you feel unpleasant ones you react with anger and hatred. Vipasana teaches you to observe every sensation, both pleasant and unpleasant, objectively and remain equinamous with the understanding that every sensation has the quality of arising and passing away. No sensation remains eternally.

By practicing the observation of sensation equinamously again and again one changes the habit pattern of instant blind reaction to these sensations. Thus, in daily life whenever one comes in contact with something undesirable one notices that an unpleasant sensation has arisen in the body and one starts observing it without flaring up in anger as before. Of course, it takes time to reach a stage where one is fully liberated from anger. But as one practices Vipasana more and more one notices that the period of rolling in anger is becoming shorter and shorter. Even if one is not able to feel the sensation immediately as it arises, maybe after a few minutes one starts realizing that by the blind reaction of anger one is making the unpleasant sensations even more intense, thereby making oneself even more miserable.

As soon as one realizes this fact one starts coming out of anger. With the practice of Vipasana this period of realization of misery pertaining to unpleasant sensation becomes shorter and shorter and a time comes when one realizes instantly the truth of the harm that one is causing to oneself by generating anger. This is the only way to liberate oneself from this mad habit of reacting with anger.

Of course there is a also a way that as soon as one realizes that one has generated anger one may divert one’s attention to some other object and by this technique one may feel that one is coming out of anger. However, it is actually only the surface part of the mind that has come out of anger.

Deep inside one keeps on boiling in anger because you have not eradicated the anger but merely suppressed it. Vipasana teaches you not to run away from the reality but, rather, to face the reality and start objectively observing the anger in the mind and the unpleasant sensation in the body. By observing the reality of the unpleasant sensations in the body you are not diverting your attention somewhere else nor are you suppressing your anger to the deeper level of the mind. As you keep on observing the sensations equinamously you will notice that the anger that has arisen naturally become weaker and weaker and ultimately passes away.

The fact is that there is a barrier between the smaller part of the mind, that is the surface of the mind, and the larger part of the mind, the so-called subconscious or half-conscious mind. This larger part of the mind at the deepest level is constantly in touch with the bodily sensations and has become a slave of the habit pattern of blind reaction to these sensations.

Due to one reason or the other there are different kinds of sensations though out the body at every moment. If the sensation is pleasant then the habit pattern is to react with clinging and craving and if it is unpleasant the habit pattern is to react with aversion and hatred. Because of the barrier between the small surface part of the mind and the rest of the mind the surface part is totally unaware of the fact that this constant reaction is taking place at the deeper level.

Vipassana helps to break this barrier and the entire mental structure becomes very conscious. It feels the sensations from moment to moment and, with the understanding of the law of impermanence, remains equainmous. It is easy to train the surface level of the mind to remain equinamous at the level of intellectual understanding but this message of intellectual understanding does not reach the deeper level of the mind because of this barrier.

When the barrier is broken by Vipassana the entire mind keeps on understanding the law of impermanence and the habit pattern of blind reaction at the deeper level starts changing. This is the best way to liberate yourself from the misery of anger.

Breast Cancer : Stay Aware : Stay Positive: Stay Healthy

The incidences of breast cancer in India are on the rise and is rapidly becoming the number one cancer in females pushing the cervical cancer to the second spot. The seriousness of the situation is apparent after going through recent data from Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR).

It is reported that one in 22 women in India is likely to suffer from breast cancer during her lifetime, while the figure is definitely more in America with one in eight being a victim of this deadly cancer.

I had been reading about the role positive thinking plays in cutting down the risk of any dis-ease especially cancer. There have been instances where the cancer ha got completely cured just by will and positive attitude.

Every woman should do BSE (Breast self examination) to feel if there is some lump or swelling. If she finds one, she should undergo mammography. Every lump is not cancerous so there is no need to panic. Breast cancer detected on time can prevent morbidity and mortality. Pap smear and colostomy pick up the cancer of the cervix in very initial stages so now a days chemo is not required in all cases.

No one knows exactly why a normal breast cell becomes a cancerous one, and there is probably no single cause. It is thought, however, that breast cancer results from a combination of risk factors. These risk factors can be grouped into several categories:

Hereditary risk: It has long been known that women whose mothers or sisters had breast cancer have a higher risk of developing the disease themselves. Recently, it has been discovered that breast cancer can develop when a woman inherits a breast cancer susceptibility gene from one of her parents. However, it is important to realize that 85 – 90 percent of breast cancers and NOT hereditary, and that all women need to be screened for breast cancer, even if no one in their families have ever had the disease.

Hormonal risk factors: The female hormones estrogen and progesterone are involved in breast cancer formation. For example, it is known that women who start to menstruate at an early age, or who have a late menopause have a higher risk of breast cancer than women who do not. It is also known that women who take hormone replacement therapy after menopause have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Age: Breast cancer becomes much more common as women grown older.

Gender: Most breast cancer occurs in women, although about 12,000 cases of breast cancer occur in men in the United States each year.

Diet and Exercise: Studies have shown that women who exercise are less likely to develop breast cancer than sedentary women. Studies have also shown that women who gain weight after menopause have an increased risk of breast cancer compared to women who do not.

Early breast cancer usually does not cause pain. In fact, when it first develops, breast cancer may cause no symptoms at all. But as the cancer grows, it can cause these changes:

a lump or thickening in the breast or armpit

a change in the size or shape of the breast

discharge from the nipple

a change in the color or texture of the skin of the breast or areola (such as dimpling, puckering, or scaliness).

Any changes in the breast should be reported to a doctor without delay. Symptoms can be caused by cancer or by a number of less serious conditions. Early diagnosis is especially important for breast cancer because the disease responds best to treatment before it has spread. The earlier breast cancer is found and treated, the better a woman’s chance for complete recovery.

Visual inspection looks for changes in breast contour, new dimpling, nipple inversion, discharge, moles, puckering or persistent sores. Palpation is using the pads of the fingers to press down and feel the tissue around the breasts for any unusual lumps.

Mammography is an x-ray of the breast that reveals suspicious areas that are denser than normal breast tissue or have abnormal deposits of calcium. Mammography is an important screening test which can show a breast cancer long before it is big enough to be felt in the breast. Women over age 40 should undergo a mammogram every year in order to detect breast cancers when they are small and can be treated easily. .

Ultrasonography uses high frequency sound waves that enter the breast and bounce back. The pattern of their echoes produces a picture called a sonogram that detects whether the breast lump is solid (possibly cancerous) or filled with fluid (non-cancerous). An ultrasound is usually recommended to evaluate a palpable breast lump or an abnormality seen on a mammogram.

Amongst the thousands of genes we have, some genes make ‘protective proteins that act as brakes’ in a normal cell that is going thru the cell cycle. The cell is genetically primed to grow to a certain size and then divide to form two new cells, then grow again and then form two cells.

Normally cell division is required, during foetal development, to carry new born babies and children to adulthood, to regenerate injured tissues etc. but the body can’t have such divisions happening unchecked therefore it makes proteins that act as signals for the cell to stop dividing… sometimes a mutation occurs in the DNA of cells leading to NON production of the protecting protein in such cases the cells goes on dividing ultimately forming cancer.

Genes that make protective cell cycle ‘braking’ proteins are termed “tumor suppressor” genes. They have the above described function in normal cells and these genes are seen to be inactivated by mutation or silencing in tumors… hence termed tumor suppressors.

In breast cancer, BRCA tumor suppressor gene was identified a decade or more back. It is mutated and silenced in hereditary breast cancer patients who form a small percentage of all breast cancers patients. Very interesting finding of great use in diagnosis and prognosis but most breast cancers are non hereditary and BRCA gene was not associated with these common cancers.

When I read a book by Louise Hay called ‘You Can Heal Your Life I thought it was just another self help book but slowly as I practiced the methods of positive healing from there I gained so much confidence and learned to manage even the slightest pain.

Everyone should keep a copy of this valuable book.

The simple way of bringing change in my attitude brought tremendous change in my physical, mental and emotional health. Everyday I do these positive thinking exercises and see the result immediately.
During my days of illness, the stress levels had gone much beyond any limits of my thinking and this particular book truly healed me. Without medication and any medical help I came back to good health. Even now I manage daily dis- eases with it and try tokeep myself free of guilt, hurts, pent up emotions, regrets or any such negative emotions.

The power of positive thinking is one way to avoid the risk of any cancer especially breast cancer. Positive thinking is a mental attitude that anticipates happiness, success and favorable outcomes in every situation or action you do. The thoughts get registered in your subconscious mind and you start taking action to create favorable change.

A positive outlook can help you to cope better with stressful situations and can change your life for the better.

Connect with your inner

Connecting with your inner or listening to the instincts is one of the most common ways to develop positive thinking. Whenever any negative thoughts enter your mind, try to replace it with a constructive one. For example, “I won’t be able to do it” will be put forward as “I will do it”. Practice this regularly and you will soon be able to master your mind. Mind is a devious thing and one should never let it overpower us.

Meditation is the key

Meditation calms the mind and relaxes the body. Meditation gives inner strength, peace of mind, relaxation and a sense of bliss, which helps to think positively. So, regular meditation can lead to a calm inner and healthy mind, body and soul.

Always see the brighter side of life

Try to believe that everything happens for a reason and embrace the concept that something good will come out of every situation that momentarily seems bad. Always look on the bright side of life and it will work wonders for you.

Communication helps in a big way

Not saying the things you feel can give a sense of frustration, anxiety and anger, thus giving way to negative thoughts. Hence, communication is an important aspect of positive thinking.

Believe in yourself

Believe in yourself and your capabilities to become more confident. Make a positive commitment to yourself and to the people around you. Praise yourself and be enthusiastic. Love yourself and say it often that you are blessed by the positive forces around you. Staying connected with the universe around you helps in big way.

Tips to positive thinking

Be optimistic and expect favorable outcomes in every situation.

Cultivate the habit of reading inspiring books.

Find reasons to smile more often. It’s a great stress buster.

Try to use positive words, e.g. “I can”, “it will be done”, “it is possible” while thinking and talking.

Engage yourself in enjoyable recreational activities.

Interact with people who have a positive outlook in life.

Positive thinking needs consistent effort as you are creating a new habit. On the other hand, negative thoughts can rip your focus from your goal. There is no greater joy than living a healthy and positive life. So take charge of your mind and think positive. Remember, you are what you think.

This is my NaBloPoMo post for today.

Disclaimer : I am not a doctor or healer. All the information is gathered from articles on internet or books. I have just put them in my words for the benefit of my readers. Thank you. 

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